20 year sentence recommended for driver found guilty in death of NKY family

20 year sentence recommended for driver found guilty in death of NKY family
Updated: Jun. 29, 2018 at 4:49 PM EDT
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Samantha Malohn and Rodney Pollitt Jr (Photo: Provided)
Samantha Malohn and Rodney Pollitt Jr (Photo: Provided)
The Pollitt children (Provided)
The Pollitt children (Provided)

KENTON COUNTY, KY (FOX19) - A northern Kentucky driver charged with killing a family of five was found guilty of five counts of murder on Friday. The jury recommended a sentence of 20 years to be served concurrently.

Daniel Greis, 58, was under the influence of alcohol and marijuana when he was driving a vehicle that collided head-on with a car on Staffordsburg Road in Independence on Oct. 26, according to Kenton County prosecutors.

The crash killed Samantha Malohn, 27, and Rodney Pollitt Jr., 26, and their three children; Hailieann, 9, Brenden, 8, and Cailie, 6.

His BAC was approximately between .083  and .092, according to officials. The legal driving limit in Kentucky is .08.

The "black box" in Greis' car showed he was traveling at 96 mph with the accelerator to the floor, Kenton County Commonwealth Attorney Rob Sanders has said.

[911 call in crash that killed 5 sends grandmother from courtroom in tears]

Staffordsburg Road has a 55 mph speed limit.

['Those people died horribly.' Driver in fatal NKY crash takes the stand]

"He was playing a game with deadly consequences. He was doing it with the lives of other people. He was drunk he was high, he was speeding, he was on the wrong side of the road. His SUV was no different than a gun." Kenton County Commonwealth Attorney Rob Sanders said.

Samantha's grandmother, Vivian Cooper, said Samantha and Rodney loved their children more than life.

"Rodney was an awesome person. He was a family man. He was always good to Samantha. They were just… high school sweet hearts. They did everything together. They were never a part. They loved their children more than life itself," she said.

Cooper said she struggles everyday knowing she'll never see her family again.

"We're all devastated. I don't know how we're going to be able to move past this. I just can't believe they're gone," she said crying in court.

Greis's daughter spoke during sentencing about how close they were. She's worried about the sentence he received.

"I'm really worried. I don't know what all these years are going to be like for him. That terrifies me," she said.

Donald Greis, Dan's father, took the stand and explained how his family has been since the accident.

"I really don't know how this is going to effect the rest of my family. We've always been together. But now his life is being taken away from his family and our family," he said.

Greis will be eligible for parole after 17 years.

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